Several of President Trump’s favorite go-to spots — including his Mar-a-Lago estate, a frequent weekend retreat — are unsettlingly vulnerable to internet security breaches, according to a new report from ProPublica and Gizmodo.
Using a two-foot wireless antenna, reporters Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Julia Angwin were able to spot three “weakly encrypted” Wi-Fi networks at Mar-a-Lago two weeks ago, along with two open networks at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Weak Wi-Fi security and servers with outdated software were also spotted at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a Virginia golf club he frequently visits.
The poor network protection raises concerns on the heels of last week’s global cyberattack, as well as purported Russian interference with both the U.S. and French elections. Beyond making protected information easy to discover, the weak Wi-Fi security allows hackers to record conversations and “take over” devices.
“Those networks all have to be crawling with foreign intruders, not just ProPublica,” said Dave Aitel, chief executive officer of Immunity, Inc., in the report.
President Trump has hosted foreign dignitaries from China, Japan, and England at his properties since his inauguration — including a discussion with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on North Korea’s missile test in February.